When the clocks go back from the end of October until the end of March, we often feel bereft of sunlight and are definitely feeling the chill now the temperatures are dropping. It’s why holidays somewhere hot and sunny at this time of year are so appreciated and eagerly anticipated.

Get away from the cold UK weather and the long dark evenings and escape to a beautiful beach. So, where’s the best place to head for the sun? Where’s hot but also dry in February through to April, when we are so desperate for some sun, after not having any for months?

If it’s all about the beach and you want it tropical…

Mauritius is a 12-hour flight from London and is great all year round, but our winter months are some of the best. Lovely temperatures averaging around 25- 28C and they are also some of the driest months. With some of the finest beach hotels in the world, this is an incredibly idyllic Indian Ocean dream and there will be a hotel catering for whatever it is you’re looking for.

Mauritius Beach

The Maldives is about a 10-hour flight away and there’s not a bad time to go to these idyllic little islands – although with their paradise vibe they are the perfect antidote to a dark British winter! More suitable for a peaceful and relaxing escape, this is ideal if you just want a relaxing break.

The Caribbean is out of its hurricane season by December and until April it is the driest and least humid, so winter here is a dream. There are so many islands to choose from depending on what kind of experience you are looking for. Barbados and Antigua are the two most popular choices, with great restaurants and plenty to keep you entertained, for breath-taking rain-forest landscapes there’s St Lucia, whilst Grenada offers an authentic Caribbean experience – the list goes on! We’re also specialists in creating amazing Caribbean Island Hopping itineraries, if you fancy visiting more than one island.

Grenada Petite Martinique

If you love the beach but also want things to explore…

Mexico is about 10 hours from the UK and the best time to go, whether that’s to the Yucatan Peninsula or Pacific Coast is between November and April. From the ancient Mayan culture in the Yucatan to the authentic Mexican flavours of the Pacific Coast, there’s so much to see and do. Along with heavenly beaches, relaxed vibes and great weather.

Thailand is a 13-hour flight from the UK and the islands are ideal between November to April. There are dozens of islands to choose from that are the stuff of fantasies and you can also combine it with a trip further North to explore more the of the country, be it ancient culture, elephant trekking or the bright lights of Bangkok.

Monkey Beach Thailand

Sri Lanka is also ideal during our winter months. If you are looking for an adventure combined with a stunning beach, then look no further. Visit the colourful temples, spot rare wildlife and take tea at a hillside plantation – Sri Lanka is beautiful, unique and filled with fascinating culture and history.

Cost Rica is an ecotourism heaven, packed with natural beauty, with lush grasslands, tropical rainforests and vast mountains ranges, with everything from white rivers to simmering volcanoes and is teeming with wildlife. It has stunning beaches galore with great surfing conditions and a perfect climate to enjoy it all in.

Bali is perfect for a beach holiday and our winter is the best time to visit, with idyllic weather from Oct through to May. They also have beach resorts catering for every type of holiday, from quiet idyllic resorts, through to wild party resorts. Yes, you can spend your time relaxing on its stunning beaches, but there’s also plenty to do. Take a boat trip to the more remote Gili Islands or explore its waterfalls, temples, wildlife and culture.

Bali beach beauty

Florida in the winter is mainly milder but still very pleasant and it is a great time to visit the theme parks of Orlando as the humidity in the summer is exhausting. In February half term it’s usually warm in the daytime with very little chance of rain. You can combine Orlando with the Florida Keys or somewhere along the Gulf coast where Clearwater, St Petersburg Beach and Sarasota offer miles of pure white sand and a relaxed seaside vibe. You can even combine Florida with some great US cities and national parks, mixing all the bits you want to see in to one US Multi Centre holiday.

Want the sun but not too bothered about a beach…

Australia has opposite seasons to us, so winter is the best time to visit and it’s just reopened so is a great time to visit. Although it does have stunning beaches, a visit to Australia is more about exploring its vibrant cities, stunning landscapes and extraordinary sights.

South Africa also has stunning beaches, but you’d be missing out if you spent too much time on them. From the lively Cape Town and its iconic Table Mountain to the exquisite scenery of the Garden Route and Winelands and not forgetting the magnificent Game Reserves of Kruger and the Eastern Cape, there is simply so much to see and do.

VA Waterfront

If you don’t want to travel as far…

Cyprus is the closest option for winter sun and a good European option, with temperatures remaining in the low to mid-20s throughout November. By December, these will drop to the high teens, which still represents a good option for a little warmth without travelling too far. For many people, this time of year is much more pleasant for visiting Cyprus, as the summer months can be unbearably hot and dry. Planning a trip for the winter means being able to explore more in relative comfort.

UAE is never cold and is just under 7 hours away. In fact, when the temperature drops, it feels like a relief. This makes it a great place to escape for some winter sun and to cheer yourself up with a few of the finer things in life – we’re talking shopping, beaches and delicious meals in world-class restaurants. If these things don’t chase away the winter blues nothing will! Expect temperatures in the late 20s degrees C to mid-30s, allowing a dip in the sea to cool off on a regular basis.

The Canaries is only a short 4½ hours away, and being only 100km from the African coast, it’s warm pretty much all the time. In the winter months, from December to March, it’s still an average of 18 degrees which is great t-shirt temperature. Each island has its own mix of gorgeous beaches, entertainment and dramatic scenery. As well as the well-known destinations of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, there’s also the sleepy islands of La Gomera and La Palma characterised by untouched beaches, pine forests, and fishing villages.

Chris Eaves Personal Travel Consultant

Chris joined the eShores family in July 2019, however his knowledge of the industry goes back to 2007 when he worked for Etihad Airways. Chris is an active person, always going on adventures. He loves sports, airplanes and keeping up to date with all that's going on in the world of travel.